NCAA Midwest Regional
Sat., Nov. 12, 2011
The University of Northern Iowa will send its women's cross country team to compete in the NCAA Midwest Regional on Sat., Nov. 12, at the NIU North 40 Course in DeKalb, Ill. The meet will feature the Midwest's 33 Division I cross country schools from the states of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota. The women's race is scheduled to start at 1:15 p.m.
Northern Illinois University will serve as the host of the 2011 NCAA Midwest Regional. As one of nine regional championships held nationally at the Division I level, this meet will feature the 33 Division I cross country-participating schools from the states of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
In addition to the Midwest Region Championship determining the top regional teams, the event also serves as the first round of the NCAA Championships, as the top two teams and top four individuals not on a qualifying team automatically advance to the national championship. Additional teams and individuals are chosen through an at-large process following the regional competition.
Climbing the Conference Ladder
Heading into the MVC Championships on Oct. 30, the UNI women were picked to finish seventh in the league poll. Behind several strong individual performances, they climbed two spots in the team race to finish fifth with 123 points.
UNI's fifth-place team finish at LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course came just one year after an eighth-place showing at the Valley Championships.
Thomas Shines at Valley Championships
UNI junior Hayley Thomas earned the first All-MVC honor of her career on Oct. 30 at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Championships, taking ninth place overall and leading the UNI women to a fifth-place team finish. Thomas became the first Panther woman to earn all-conference honors at the MVC Cross Country Championships since 2008.
Thomas clocked in at 18:16.70 for the 5k course, cutting more than one minute off her previous season-best time in the 5k. Her new personal-best time puts her at No. 22 on the all-time cross country 5k list for UNI women.
Good Time to Peak
Six of the Panthers' eight runners at the MVC Championships recorded season best times in the 5k.
Egan's The Leader
Junior Brett Egan was the top finisher for the UNI men's cross country squad in each of the five meets in which he competed this season. In 2010, Egan was the Panthers' No. 1 or No. 2 finisher in every meet, including an eighth-place, All-MVC showing at the Valley Championships.
Senior Jill Lageschulte, junior Hayley Thomas and junior Brett Egan were all named to the 2011 MVC Scholar-Athlete team following the MVC Championships. Student-athletes must finish among the top 20 runners at the conference championship, hold at least a cumulative 3.20 grade point average and be at least a sophomore in athletic and academic standing to earn a spot on the MVC Scholar-Athlete team.